Established in the late 1800s, Kimberley is the capital of the Northern Cape and the gateway to the whole region, which is rich not only in diamonds but in other minerals such as iron and manganese. Many large companies that supply goods or services to the surrounding mines have branches in the city, and many people working on the mines prefer to locate their families here because it has good schools, good medical facilities, a new university and several shopping malls.
“The malls including the Diamond Pavilion and the Northern Cape Mall, which offer a variety of restaurants, movie houses and other attractions as well as outlets of most of the national retail chains”, says Pieter Vorster, the local Rawson Property Group franchisee, who notes that residents also include many members and employees of the provincial legislature, and the doctors and staff of the three local hospitals, as well as those active in the city’s burgeoning local tourism and conferencing industry.
“Kimberley is rich in history, and not just diamond-mining history,” he says. “It was also the first city in the Southern Hemisphere to install electric street-lighting, and the home of SA’s first stock exchange and flying school. It is also famous for being the home of Sol Plaatje, one of the founders of what became the ANC. Accordingly, it has many historical sites, buildings and museums, and even a ‘ghost’ tour”.
“With its new international-standard convention centre and a string of quality hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs, it is also gaining increasing popularity as a conference and meetings venue. There are daily flights to Kimberley from Johannesburg and Cape Town, and the city is also centrally located, at the intersection of the N12 and N8 national roads.”
He says that for nature enthusiasts, the country’s newest national park, Mokala, is just 57km from Kimberley and offers great game viewing opportunities, while the city itself also offers several popular nightspots and live music venues as well as the Flamingo Casino and conference venue, named after the flocks of Lesser Flamingos that breed at the nearby Kamfers Dam.
“Sporting facilities include the challenging Bob Grimsdell designed course at the Kimberley Golf Club, the De Beers Diamond Oval cricket ground, the Galeshewe Stadium and a Virgin Active gym. Kimberley is of course also home to the Griquas rugby team and the world skateboarding championship event known as the Kimberley Diamond Cup.”
Vorster says there is a long list of excellent schools in Kimberley and that tertiary education institutions include a Unisa campus, a Boston City business school, a Central University of Technology campus and two hotel schools as well as the Sol Plaatje university which opened in 2014.
“Appropriately, there is an increasing demand for student accommodation here, as well as family homes, flats and townhouses for young working people. And fortunately, there has been a significant amount of new property development in and around the city since the moratorium on development was lifted two years ago.”
New developments currently include the fully-secured Crawford Estate 4km to the north-east of the city centre, which offers 150 homes in the first phase priced at R849 000. All have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, open-plan living areas and a garage with stands averaging at about 450sqm.
Also new is The Palms apartment development in Heuwelsig, to the south-west of the city centre, where there are 77 new two bedroom units on offer at prices from around R735 000 to R855 000, depending on size and the addition of another bathroom.
Vorster says home prices in the historic suburbs of Kimberley, which include Beaconsfield, Belgravia, Herlear, Kimberley North and Memorial Road, start at around R760 000 for three bedroom homes in need of fairly extensive renovation, and range all the way up to about R4 million for fully-restored Victorian mansions with five and six bedrooms and extensive gardens.
More modern family homes with three and four bedrooms, garages and pools in the very popular Monument Heights area start at around R1,6 million and range up to about R3,8 million, and apartment prices in the city range from around R400 000 for one bedroom units up to around R780 000 for two bedroom units.